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The Cajeput tree (Melaleuca), also known as myrtle heather, is still relatively unknown to us as a medicinal herb. In his South Pacific homeland, on the other hand, the healing effects of cajeput oil have been known for a long time and are used, among other things, to treat skin and respiratory diseases and to treat pain. Cajeput oil is usually used in the course of aromatherapy or aroma care. In this article you will find out exactly how the healing effects of the cajut tree are, how to use the oil of the myrtle heather correctly and what needs to be considered when using the oil.
Profile of the Cajeput:
- Scientific name: Melaleuca
- Plant family: Myrtle family (Myrtaceae)
- Popular names: Silver tree myrtle heather, cajut tree, white wood
- origin: Australia
- application areas:
- Respiratory diseases
- Skin diseases
- Pain treatment
- Rheumatic diseases
- Parts of plants used: Leaves
Herbal portrait: the little brother of eucalyptus
Myrtle heaths belong to the family of myrtle plants named after them (Myrtaceae) and are therefore closely related to eucalyptus, whose aroma is very similar to that of cajeput oil. Both herbs also grow mainly in Australia and the South Pacific.
The cajeput tree in particular has long been known as "white wood", particularly in Indonesian folk medicine, and, like the eucalyptus, has always been used here to treat respiratory diseases. Two types of cajeput are used for medicinal purposes:
- Australian tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)
- Silver tree myrtle heather (Melaleuca leucandendron)
useful information: Eucalyptus tree and Cajeput tree are also very similar in appearance. A striking difference, however, is that Cajeput, with an average height of ten to 15 meters, grows significantly lower than its up to 95-meter-high species eucalyptus.
In the 17th century, Dutch sailors brought parts of the white wood to Europe for the first time. Most people have only heard of cajeput oil since the advent of modern aromatherapy. Here the oil of the myrtle heather is used for fragrance oil smoking.
In addition, cajeput oil is an important component of the so-called Tiger Balm, an extremely hot ointment that contains not only cajeput oil but also ingredients such as eucalyptus and peppermint oil as well as camphor and levomenthol. It is considered a miracle cure for:
- and strains.
Cajeput oil is also one of the main components in the famous Olbas oil, which is one of the most reliable natural remedies for colds.
All of these healing effects can also be attributed to pure Cajeput oil, which is usually obtained by distillation from the leaves and buds of the Cajeput tree. About 100 to 125 kilograms of the plant parts make up about one liter of the oil.
Ingredients and effects
The most important active ingredients of cajeput oil each have a special effect, which can help with various health problems. Together, they contain symptoms that like to occur in combination with certain diseases. Below is a brief overview of this.
The organic plant substance 1,8-cineole is the main active ingredient of cajeput and is also known as eucalyptol or cajeputol depending on the occurrence. It can be seen that the similarities between eucalyptus and cajeput also continue in their ingredients. Regardless of its synonym names, Cineol is one of the monoterpenes. It is a special group of plant substances that are used for their
- immune boosting,
- but also invigorating
- and vitalizing effect
are known. In this regard, 1,8-cineol is a valuable ingredient in various medicines against
- Lung infection,
- inflammatory skin diseases,
- Concentration problems,
- chronic fatigue and lethargy.
In addition, cajeput oil smells strongly of eucalyptus, which is also invigorating and refreshing for the health complaints mentioned.
The second important ingredient in cajeput oil is terpineol. The plant substance, which also belongs to the monoterpenes, becomes a
- and relaxing effect
attributed to. For this reason, Melaleuca leucadendra is also often used for complaints such as
- Urinary tract infections,
- A headache,
- Muscle cramps,
- Nerve pain (neuralgia),
- painful bruises
- or toothache.
In the area of pain treatment in particular, the oil of the cajeput tree should work even better than that of the tea tree. Painful urinary tract infections in particular react particularly well here to the pain-relieving and disinfecting effects of Cajeput oil.
By the way: The beneficial ingredients of Cajeput oil are also used in cosmetics to treat blemishes and inflammatory skin irritations.
Aldehydes form the third group of active ingredients in cajeput oil. Their pungent aroma has an invigorating and liberating effect on the airways, which is why they are ideal for
- stuffy nose,
- slimy neck,
- Difficulty concentrating,
- Fatigue and lethargy.
|Cineol||has a disinfectant, expectorant, anti-inflammatory, immune-boosting, invigorating and vitalizing effect|
|Terpineol||has antispasmodic, analgesic and relaxing effects|
|Aldehydes||have invigorating and secretion-promoting properties|
Application and dosage
Cajeput oil can be used both internally and externally. The correct dosage is very important because the ingredients in the herbal oil are very highly concentrated. You will find important information on use below.
Cold therapy with cajeput oil
Cajeput oil is particularly often used to relieve respiratory and cold symptoms. The essential oil develops particularly well when inhaled as part of aromatherapy. Simply add five to ten drops of cajeput oil to a bowl of hot water. The ethereal water vapor should be inhaled about three times a day until full recovery. Alternatively, the oil can also be used as an aromatic wrap in the neck or chest area for colds.
Cajeput oil as an envelope for colds
Mix ten to 15 drops of Cajeput oil with a palm-sized amount of carrier oil (e.g. olive, sesame or jojoba oil) and rub your chest and neck area carefully with the mixture.
To support the therapy, you can also place a warm cloth or blanket on the area. You can also use the same oil mixture for ear pain by dripping it on a cotton ball and then carefully pushing it into the ear canal and allowing the oil to take effect there overnight.
tip: Cajeput also works as a fragrance lamp addition. For example, against temporary learning blocks or weaknesses in concentration. It is best to drizzle five drops of cajeput oil in combination with five drops of lemon oil in the fragrance oil holder filled with water.
Cajeput as an additive for spas
Cajeput oil as an additive for an aroma bath is also well suited for respiratory diseases and cold complaints. Even urinary tract infections and rheumatic complaints are said to respond well to the warming aroma care, which further increases the possible uses of cajeput oil as a bath additive. Five to ten drops of cajeput oil are also sufficient for a single application. The oil can be stretched with three tablespoons of carrier oil before immersing yourself in the beneficial aroma care for about 20 minutes.
Massage oil from Cajeput
In the field of sports medicine, cajeput oil is used to massage muscles and bruises. If there is rheumatism and skin problems, the massage oil can also provide relief.
Preparation of the massage oil
Take for the preparation
- a handful of conventional massage oil,
- three to eight drops of cajeput oil,
mix both together and slowly massage it into the affected area of the skin.
Tip: The Cajeput oil has an additional blood circulation and antispasmodic effect during the massage, for which tense and heavily used muscles are very grateful.
- In rare cases, cajeput oil can lead to allergic reactions, which is why you should consult a doctor if you experience symptoms such as severe discomfort, worsening of breathing difficulties and rash.
- In the worst case, the worsening of breathing difficulties can lead to a life-threatening respiratory crisis.
- While gentle additives from cajeput oil can also be found in care products for babies, the pure essential oil of the cajeput tree is unsuitable for babies. It is too spicy and could quickly lead to the allergic reactions mentioned above.
- Pregnant women in the first half of pregnancy should also refrain from using Cajeput, as the side effects mentioned could possibly cause premature labor.
Study results on the Cajeput
In 1992, researchers were able to confirm that cajeput has an antibacterial effect in a comprehensive study. The scientists even spoke in favor of using cajeput oil as an antibiotic, which proves that the herbal oil is ideal for the treatment of bacterially caused respiratory diseases. Another study has also shown that Cajeput has an inhibitory effect on the spread of flu viruses.
A study from Boston, Massachusetts found out how well Cajeput helps with skin irritation. She examined the healing potential of myrtle heath oil in furunculosis and came to very positive results.
The situation is similar with the anti-inflammatory and analgesic potential of cajeput, which was investigated in a Korean research series. All in all, the myrtle heather does what it says on the tin.
Cajeput oil is a tried and tested remedy, which is particularly useful for respiratory diseases and pain symptoms. However, skin problems and poor concentration can also be treated with the oil of the myrtle heather. However, careful dosing is important because the ingredients of the essential oil are extremely sharp and have a composition similar to eucalyptus. Both herbs are related and should be used very moderately due to their ingredient intensity. If you pay attention to this, Cajeput can reliably help you. (ma)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
- Jedlicková, Z .; Mottl, O .; Serý, V .: Antibacterial properties of the Vietnamese cajeput oil and ocimum oil in combination with antibacterial agents; in: Journal of hygiene, epidemiology, microbiology and Immunology, Volume 36, Issue 3, 1992, PubMed
- Li, Xinghua & Duan, Songwei & Chu, Cordia et al .: Melaleuca Alternifolia Concentrate Inhibits in Vitro Entry of Influenza Virus into Host Cells; in: Molecules, 2013, MDPI
- Feinblatt, H M .: Cajeput-type oil for the treatment of furunculosis; in: Journal of the National Medical Association, Volume 52, Issue 1, 1960, PubMed
- Surh, Jeonghee; Yun, Jung-Mi: Antioxidant and Anti-inflammatory Activities of Butanol Extract of Melaleuca leucadendron L .; in: Preventive nutrition and food science, Volume 17, Issue 1, 2012, PubMed